The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it is not banning the use of smartphones around polling unit areas, except the moment a prospective voter enters the voting cubicle to cast his or her vote.
Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, made the declaration in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, Tuesday.
He stated this in reaction to a statement issued by the National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, who condemned INEC’s purported decision to ban the use of smartphones at polling booths.
But, Oyekanmi said Nigerians are aware of the challenge of vote-buying and selling; which reared its ugly head in recent elections and that that had prompted many stakeholders to call on INEC to devise innovative ways to tackle the problem.
“In consultation with other stakeholders, the Commission came up with new measures to solve the problem, one of which is to disallow the use of smartphones and other electronic devices in the voting cubicles on election day. In other words, INEC is not banning phones around the polling unit area, but, the ban takes effect from the moment a prospective voter collects his or her ballot paper and enters into a voting cubicle to thumb print and, thereafter, drop the folded ballot paper into the ballot box.